Thomas Kiernan Lane, 37, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States has been charged in the death of African-American man George Floyd. Minnesota attorney general Keith Ellison announced on June 3, 2020 the details of the charges faced by Lane and his fellow former Minneapolis Police Department officers Derek Michael Chauvin, 44, J Alexander Kueng, 26, and Tou Nmn Thao, 34.
Ellison took over the prosecution from Hennepin County attorney Mike Freeman on June 1, 2020. The former said, “George Floyd mattered.”
“He was loved,” Ellison said of Floyd. “His family was important and his life had value. We will seek justice for him and for you and we will find it.”
Lane, Chauvin, Kueng and Thao were involved in the fatal arrest of Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020. Floyd’s death reawakened the Black Lives Matter movement and ignited anti-police brutality protests across the U.S.
Assisted by Kueng and Lane with Thao watching, Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds at 3759 Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis. More than an hour later, Floyd was declared dead in the emergency room of Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.
The Minneapolis Police Department fired Chauvin, Lane, Kueng and Thao on May 26, 2020. Chauvin was arrested on May 29, 2020.
Originally charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, Chauvin is now facing a new charge of second-degree murder. On the other hand, Lane, Thao and Kueng have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder while committing a felony and with aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter with culpable negligence.
“History does show there are clear challenges here but we will seek justice and we will find it,” Ellison said. “What I do not believe is one successful prosecution can rectify the hurt and loss that so many people feel.”
“The solution to that pain will be slow and difficult work of construction justice and fairness in our society,” Ellison continued. “That work is the work of all of us.”